White Cheddar Chicken Pasta
For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
For the pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste
Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.
I didn't take pictures as I went along because I forgot. :( True to my nature, I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I never do. Maybe that's why I really suck at baking. You have to be too exact. I like to improvise and ammend as I go. These are the things I changed:
I combined the first 4 herbs and spices and used them as a rub for the chicken then had Lance grill it. I thought it would give the chicken a nice flavor and add a little texture.
I used tri color rotini because it looked fun and was on sale :)
I omitted the red pepper flakes because I didn't have any and don't like them anyway.
Other than this, I followed the recipe pretty close. The only thing I would suggest is to not add the flour until you add some of the milk otherwise it might get a little lumpy.
Here's the finished product served with salad and french bread. It's kind of hard to actually see the pasta because I covered it with grated parmesan.
So what is the family's verdict, you ask? I gave it 4 stars, Kelin 3.5, and Lance 3. Kelin says he'd rather not have had the chicken grilled. After 17 years, he now tells us he doesn't like grilled chicken. Go figure. Lance wasn't cracked on the white cheddar. It's a stronger cheese and he said it gave it a sort of "wang." To which I replied, "I kind of like that wang." Then the conversation deteriorated right into the gutter. Hey, we've been married for 20 years. You have to take the flirtatious banter where you can get it! Don't judge! Either way, wang or no wang, I think I'll keep the recipe around in the back of the cookbook to use occasionally.
I think I'll try a dessert recipe next time. I have a Snickers Brownie Dessert that looks delish!!!! Maybe I could make it for myself for Mother's Day. :)